In Harm's Way
The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
By Doug Stanton
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805066326, 360pp.)
Publication Date: April 2001
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A harrowing, adrenaline-charged account of America's worst naval disaster -- and of the heroism of the men who, against all odds, survived.
On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died. The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered: How did the navy fail to realize the Indianapolis was missing? Why was the cruiser traveling unescorted in enemy waters? And perhaps most amazing of all, how did these 317 men manage to survive?Interweaving the stories of three survivors -- the captain, the ship's doctor, and a young marine -- journalist Doug Stanton has brought this astonishing human drama to life in a narrative that is at once immediate and timeless. The definitive account of a little-known chapter in World War II history, In Harm's Way is destined to become a classic tale of war, survival, and extraordinary courage.
A former contributing editor at Esquire and Outside, Doug Stanton is now a contributing editor at Men's Journal. He received an M.F.A. from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. He lives in Traverse City, Michigan.
"Stellar...A gut-wrenching story of everyday heroes."--New York Post
"Powerful...One of the most poignant tragedies and injustices of World War II."--Mark Bowden
"Infuriating, mesmerizing, and heartbreaking...Impossible to put down."--Rick Atkinson
"The most frightening book I've ever read."--Stephen Ambrose
"A chilling account."--The Atlantic Journal-Constitution
"Do yourself a favor. Read In Harm's Way."--James Bradley
"Stanton has created a war story that is part Titanic, part Stephen King nightmare."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune